This game first appeared on my radar more than one year ago, when its target platform was just the PC; after several delays, a big publisher (Clouded Leopard) picking up the title and expanding platforms to Switch and PS4, and other delays, Wing Of Darkness is here! And quickly forgotten.

Wing Of Darkness is an aerial combat game in which you take the role of a young maiden (or Fraulein, following the game's nomenclature) donning a flying mechanical armour to lay waste to hordes of enemies that have been named but I can't recall how. The cast is very small, comprising of Klara (your character), Erika (an NPC you see in cutscenes and buzzing around during missions doing nothing), one bad guy, and four other allied NPCs who don't even get a face; one of them gets a name, the other three are usually represented by blurred shadows in cutscenes and nothing more.
Story is told through overly long cutscenes composed of sliding static images with either Klara's or Erika's voiceovers, displayed before and after every mission. They do their job in establishing the setting, but they lack any kind of punch, and sitting through them is very tedious. The lack of original story elements doesn't help either, but at least there's the game, right?

Eh...there are only six missions in the whole game, and after that there's nothing. No alternative story paths, no score attack mode, no boss rush mode (because there are no bosses here), you are not graded after completing a mission, no extra weapons, equipment, items, or cosmetics to unlock. There are four difficulty modes, but clearing the game at normal (third most difficult out of four) doesn't take any real effort, and you are done with the game in two hours and a half, cutscenes included.
Air combat isn't that rewarding either, you just lock onto a target and push ZR to fire and then onto the next target until the mission is completed. The game is kind enough to automatically lead your reticle based on equipped weapon, target's speed and heading, so just pick whatever weapon is not reloading, and never stop firing while dashing around to dodge incoming bullets. Even when you get hit, your shield recharges rather fast, and I think only once I got into dangerous territory...for about five seconds.
Wing Of Darkness has a decent sense of scale, but not as good as other similar titles like Project Nimbus, or the fast paced combat of Rinkou No Rantse. Weapon balancing is meh, I did try all of the available weapons and quickly went for the hardest hitting cannons, there's no real need for fast firing machineguns as aim is basically automatic.

Mission structure is bland as well, with the exception of the second and final mission, you are dropped into a map and you won't leave until all target are gone. The fourth mission takes around half an hour to clear due to the number and resilience of local enemies; you have wingmen, you see them zipping around on your radar, but never seen them doing anything else. I would surely have loved for them to do something, not because enemies where threatening, but because after 15 minutes I was bored of shooting at the same pixel out in the distance and then shift to the next.

I played the Switch version, and the port is competent, framerate is locked at 30fps and there are no resolution drops, though other than your character no other object is particularly rich in detail. And I'm happy to see Bryce is still alive and well, and fit for game development, because all missions are set around mountain peaks poking out of infinite seas. Talking of graphics, if you try to get near the water you don't even get streaks or wakes, nor you get damaged or even a bump by connecting with surfaces. And I think the last boss got stuck in the scenery. Yeah, I know I wrote there were no bosses, but you do get a one-on-one fight with the main bad guy, but calling that a boss fight is a bit of a stretch because

she's invicible and you just need to survive to clear the game. I don't know if there's a hidden damage counter or it the fight is simply timed, but the boss' health never went down no matter how many times I hit her.



So, yeah, Wing Of Darkness, I game I was looking forward to gone in an evening.